What's Least Cost Routing and how can it help my business?

Choose which payment network to send transactions through and potentially lower the cost to your business.

17 January 2024

Reducing costs is an important part of running a business and maintaining profitability. 

Least Cost Routing (LCR) is an optional feature on merchant facilities designed to help you reduce transaction fees.

It allows you to choose which network(s) payments are sent through for Multi-Network Debit Cards (MNDC), giving you the freedom to choose the most cost-effective option for your business.

How does Least Cost Routing work?

EFTPOS terminals

When a customer taps their MNDC on your EFTPOS terminal, you can choose to send the transaction through the network that costs the least.


When a customer uses their MNDC through your website, you can choose to send the transaction through the network that costs the least.

If you do nothing, the transaction will go through the card’s default network, typically Mastercard or Visa.

What’s a Multi-Network Debit Card?

A MNDC has the Mastercard or Visa logo on one side and the eftpos logo on the other. 

What are the options?

LCR allows you to choose the network option (or a combination) that’s best for your business.

You can choose to:

  1. Process all eligible debit transactions through the Mastercard/Visa network – this is the default option if you choose not to activate LCR
  2. Process all eligible debit transactions through the eftpos network
  3. For EFTPOS terminals only - Set a threshold to route eligible debit transactions based on value

This third option gives you the flexibility to set a transaction threshold limit on your EFTPOS terminal

This means:

  • Transactions up to and including your limit will be processed using your chosen primary network (either Visa/Mastercard or eftpos)
  • Transactions above your threshold limit will be processed using your chosen secondary network (either Visa/Mastercard or eftpos)

When does Least Cost Routing apply?

LCR only applies to contactless MNDC transactions.

If you're using an EFTPOS terminal, LCR won't apply if a customer inserts or swipes their card. It also won't apply for payments using digital wallets or smartphones.

What’s the benefit to my business?

LCR provides you with greater flexibility and choice in how contactless MNDC transactions are processed, which can help to uncover the most cost-effective option. Every business is different, your potential savings would depend on your transaction volumes, card mix and turnover.

Our Merchant Support Team can help you understand your current fees and how enabling LCR can benefit your business.

Learn more about Least Cost Routing and how it works.

Call the Merchant Support Team to understand your current costs and learn more about Least Cost Routing.

Things you should know    

  • As this information has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Merchant Agreement (PDF), Financial Services Guide (PDF) and Operator and User Guides at our merchant support hub

    Mastercard and the Mastercard brand mark are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. Visa is registered Trademark of Visa in the United States. Eftpos is a registered trademark of eftpos Payments Australia Ltd.